High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatment has been described to improve the microbiological safety and shelf life of ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products, as a nonthermal decontamination technology in the meat industry, applied at pre- or post-packaging. The pathogen widely studied in this product is Listeria monocytogenes that reflects the concern of the food industry. In general, microorganism’s lethality during HHP treatment depends on specific intrinsic factors of the microorganism; those factors are related to food and technological factors of treatment. In addition to processing parameters, intrinsic factors of the food matrix also exert an effect on bacteria inactivation during pressure treatment. It is known that low water activity (aw) protects microorganisms against the effects of pressure. Predictive modelling is an important tool of the novel microbial food safety management strategy that provides with accurate information to demonstrate and guarantee the safety and shelf life of the food products. The chapter describes the effect of parameters on the efficiency of this technology on meat products over pathogens, composition and the sensorial quality consequences. The predictive modelling tool is introduced for the optimisation of meat treatment.
Part of the book: Food Processing